Friday, December 26, 2014

Freshman Semester 1 Done

I finished The Loopy Ewe Academy First Semester! I've submitted and am waiting on getting my pictures approved and posted to the galleries. I assume if there's any question/problems, they'll let me know.

You've seen projects 1 and 2 already: the DK-weight hat from a designer new to me and a multi-color fingering weight cowl.  (See below for additional small pictures)

When the Incredibly-Patient-Mother was visiting last weekend, I pulled out the mittens I was making for Academy and finally put the thumbs on them. I'll sit down and go through all manner of things and leave them a couple of hours waiting-- witness those fingerless gloves from last week.

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These are the Eugenia Mittens by Mollie Woodworth, which is a free pattern on Ravelry.  I used size 4 (3.5 mm) and size 6 (4.0 mm) needles. The hands took a bit of concentration, but it's worsted weight so it goes so fast you don't really notice it. The cables, all told, are 40 rows.

The yarn I used was Mrs. Crosby's Steamer Trunk in the Great-Tailed Grackle colorway. This yarn is so luscious. It's dense and squishy and rounded. I cannot recommend it highly enough for accessories. I'm sure it would make a lovely sweater as well, but I've got quite a lot of sweater quantities floating around at Chez Hedgehog to knit up before I can justify buying a whole lot of Mrs. C.

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Overall, I'm pretty thrilled how first semester went. I made two projects for myself and gave one away. I'm looking forward to seeing what we'll need to do for the second semester, and maybe getting it done a little bit earlier than a two weeks before deadline. Maybe.











Here's the cowl again, just before it went to live with Lab Mouse.



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And the hat, which I've now accidentally left in a bar and had to retrieve already! I need more winter hats.


Friday, December 19, 2014

When I am Cold, I shall wear BMFA

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock and Wollmeise. They are my two downfalls.  And yet, BMFA is a better one, because I actively knit it all up.  When BrineyDeep visited, I felt slightly guilty showing her my Wollmeise stash. It's lovely, it's varied--because I don't knit it. I suffer from possibility anxiety and worry I'll never be able to get it again. Her yarn is lovely enough and the cost of the yarn is certainly high enough that it's a luxury item.

Fortunately, I do not have a similar problem when it comes to Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Tina dreams up beautiful colors, her team dyes them on the lovely STR base, and me, I churn through it.  According to Ravelry, I've used 12 different skeins of it. Beyond the basics--Cascade 220, KnitPicks Comfy etc, I'm not sure there's another company where I've gone through 12 different colorways.  

So of course I needed more... 

I mentioned that the Philosopher couldn't possibly live without a skein of Tea and Alchemy with his name on it, right?  

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Yes, he's spoiled. What can I say, he brags about the fact that he has a selection of handknit triangles and socks. And he wears the triangles and his fingerless gloves all the time. He even wears a Malabrigo Sock yarn hat on cold days--and this from a man who doesn't wear hats if at all possible. 

Once that obligation was settled, I started looking for colors that appealed to me. Apparently I'm still in a bright kick... 

This is Hobbit Garden

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Isn't it pretty? No clue what I'll make yet.

Next up I saw a reference to the popular song Happy which is "A Room Without a Roof"

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What you can't quite see in that picture is the purple accents-- that whole ultraviolet issue again.  It's so bright, I'm so excited to make something from it. I'm thinking maybe fingerless gloves for me. I still need another pair.

And finally I defaulted back to Mediumweight for a skein. I often have said that if I only had one yarn base to pick from the rest of my life I'd go with BMFA STR Medium Weight and I truly believe it.  This colorway is Royal.

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They're bright and lovely.  I'll be happy to have them brightening up the stash for a bit and then becoming something beautiful.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sock Show Thursday: An Even Dozen (Not Bakers)

When we reached December I was feeling ahead, easy going. Sure there was only 31 days left in the year and I had a full pair of socks still to knit if I was going to reach that dozen, but hey, I've knit socks in a couple of days. A couple of days where I did essentially nothing else, grant you, but still, it was possible.

Unless, of course, you need to ship them as a gift and they suddenly need to be done FAR sooner than the end of the month. 

Thank heavens for BMFA... 

This yarn is the Tea and Alchemy Colorway, which I bought earlier this year with the Philosopher in mind.  He bravely sacrificed this skein as a gift with the strong suggestion that another skein in the same colorway perhaps could be purchased for him.  It was touch and go while I figured out whether or not I could still buy the colorway. If I hadn't been able to, all bets might have been off.  

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[Does anyone else have people in their lives who claim yarn as it comes in, even if they don't knit themselves and know it's going to be 2 years before one gets to it?]

The socks are most basic: 1.5 (2.5mm) needles, 64 stitches, knit as quickly as possible. 

It helped that last week I went down to Purdue with BrineyDeep to spend a day working with our third research partner. BD drove, I knit.  We all three schemed and planned, I knit.  We drove back in the dark, I turned the heel by the light of the passenger seat overhead flap.

While I still plan to knit another dozen pair next year, a part of me wonders if I will. I've been increasingly tempted by hats and mittens of late, thrilled by smaller projects or ones that use heavier weight yarn where I can knit them up at a much faster rate.  Such is not to suggest a moratorium on socks, heaven forfend. But perhaps not the same target, maybe only 6 pair?

I say that now...Spring is already looking to be absolutely crazy, I may only have brain power for socks.

Or maybe a stockinette sweater... 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Add Six Years...

I am not sure if I should be embarrassed about how long it took me to finish these fingerless mitts. They're on their third apartment and it's been 6.5 years from cast on to bind off.

Forgive the quick photo, these need to get wrapped up and put in the mail.  Fortunately, the recipient doesn't read my blog.












The pattern is Knitty's Dashing and I went on a spree several years ago knitting lots of pairs. This also, of course, reminds me that the Brunette's Dashing are now six years old and he really has been patient about asking for a new pair and the new mittens I was working on for him, yeah...I'm still not going to get to them before Christmas (Sorry AJ)

All these needed was a new bind off--what was I thinking it was so tight--and thumbs. 90 minutes worth of work I think?

Ah well, having them almost done in the stash meant that when faced with Christmas knitting and not much brain space, I could pull these out and a gift is ready to go.  And the recipient lives in a place where fingerless gloves should be perfect most days. So now these join the 5300 other pairs on Ravelry and hopefully get worn to shreds.


Monday, December 15, 2014

The Home Stretch

Besides end-weaving, which I don't really count but should, I have one more project to finish knitting on before Christmas. Granted, I still have to go to the post office but things seem not to be in absolutely horrible shape. (Quick, tell me what I've forgotten)

Since last you saw me I knit a dog sweater, well, since last my coworkers on Friday saw me I knit a dog sweater.  I'd show you a picture but it's already been wrapped and packed to go to it's Bichon-ly owner. M will send me a snap though and I will share that with you then. It's another doggy shrug from the Cables and Bits pattern. This is the third one I've made, this time in a bright blue/purple/really depends on the light of Berroco Vintage.

And I've also finished a couple of projects for Loopy Academy, the first semester of which is winding to a close rather quickly.

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First up, I made a cowl out of fingering weight yarn. And promptly learned that picking out short rows because I forgot to shift them around as I'm supposed to is absolutely miserable. I did it 3 times and still haven't found a way to undo it that I like.  It's drying in the dining room and then will be another gift.

The pattern is Wandering Wildflower by Laura Smoot, which I've been meaning to knit for several years.  Size 3 needles and Sweet Georgia Tough Sock yarn, which was really lovely to work with. I had just 8 grams left.

For myself, I made a hat

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While I love the Mrs. Crosby hat, I knew almost as soon as I started wearing it that a) it just wasn't long enough to deal with my hair and b) I was going to get really sick of it this winter.  So I started this hat. The pattern is Pamir and I knit it on size 5 needles.

This one was the toughest of the challenges for The Loopy Ewe. 175 yards of DK for a hat is harder to use than you'd think, and as a result the hat is a little slouchier than I'd prefer. The good news is that it fits nicely over a bun or I can fully flip up the brim to have double layers over my ears and still have a well fitting hat.

It's already gone into heavy rotation.

For the observant (or playing along at home), you'll notice I do not yet have mittens posted. They are done but for the thumbs and that's waiting on me to get through Christmas knitting and have an evening at home.  So far home knitting has had to be all Christmas knitting all the time and there hasn't been a whole lot of home knitting time in general.

If you're still on deadline, good luck!!



Monday, December 1, 2014

Until Spring: Yours from a Pile of Knitwear

Happy December 1! Along with being Sibling-the-Elder's natal day (Celebrations! *confetti explosion*), it's where I finally begin to embrace winter.

There's a shift when one reaches December.  Up until now, everyone has been clinging to vestiges of fall. It can't be this cold, it's not even December. How can we be preparing for Christmas, it's not even December (that one from the Philosopher who is obviously not knitting for the holidays)? I don't want to wear my super warm coat, it's not even December (that'd be me).

Now, the final month of the year has arrived. With the temperatures plunging overnight, everyone woke this morning and acknowledged that it is winter replete with the extra darkness, and the need for layers of wool. Winter hats, scarfs, and mittens are beginning to be our primary source of color among the many black wool coats. There is excitement about holiday traditions ahead, along with some trepidation, While we haven't had much snow yet, it's obviously on it's way and pressing that need to replace snow boots that were relinquished last spring after nearly a decade of service.

On the yum front--we're eating at lot of cookies at Chez Hedgehog. A couple of weekends ago, LabMouse arranged a cookie baking day.  A half dozen of us showed up, ingredients and mixing bowls in hand, to take over the kitchen of a suburban Lutheran church.  It's been some time since I spent a day cooking with women and I was a little worried walking in, only knowing two other people there. But no trouble-- there's an ease immediately created by "d
oes this need more flour" and "how many spare egg whites do we have now?" and we had a lovely 9 hours baking. Below is about 3/4ths of what we made.  I have one tub in the freezer, I took a couple dozen to Friendsgiving, and we're still noshing away...














(Photo by Tina Griffin, used with permission)

And the knitting continues apace. While I didn't actually wipe out all of the project bags as hoped, I did located another empty project bag, shifted around some planned holiday knitting to take advantage of a mostly finished product, and started my Loopy Academy Hat.  I'm through the brim and chugging through several inches of stockinette before the crown decreases.












There's hope for my sanity yet. Maybe.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Overwhelming Optimism.

The Philosopher was out of the house for a bit, which gave me the space to sort a few of the yarn/knitting bins. This is a fairly regular task, involving putting away all of the needles that have piled up here and there, figured out what is currently in the project bags, etc.

This time, I dug a little more deeply than I usually would in a quick clean up. I pulled out projects that have been sitting in the stash for, oh, at least 5 years. There are a couple of pair of mitts like that.  I also located a sock that only needed one dropped stitch sorted out before they could go in the drawer.

Currently, the back of the couch looks like this.

Flush from success of getting that pair of socks sorted out, I immediately became convinced that I could finish all of these projects (9) and the 3-4 others that you don't see because they are in a bin because I ran out of project bags, as well as the rest of the holiday knitting that I keep vaguely remembering that I need to do. 

And I could do all of that before work on Monday at the latest.  Never mind that those bags involve three pair of socks, a scarf that requires a lot of attention to knit, a hat that I haven't actually cast on yet, and a belt project that has been going on for several years.  Nor does it include the non-visible pile of finished items that need ends woven in. Very minor details, all that.

I did pull out the Warm Water Socks. I finished these over two years ago, wore them once, and set them aside to fix. Tonight, I finally unpicked the toes (thankfully, I'd never woven in the ends--for once a little slacking paid off) and ripped back to where I was ready to pick up the gusset. And as I started decreasing the gusset again I thought "this will be super quick and then I can work on something else this evening."  I said this about socks knit on size 1 needes (2.25 mm). That I'd just ripped back--on both--to the heel. Yes, I just have the foot left to knit on both socks but that's not going to just fall off the needles.

So I've put them in a bag and added them to the back of the couch and now I think I'll cast on that hat, as it's due soon for Loopy Academy.

I didn't think I'd sprinkled anything other than cinnamon and nutmeg into this evening's eggnog, but I'm starting to be suspicious...

Friday, November 21, 2014

One for you, one for you, one for me.

Recently, a cowl pattern came out at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, which is a wonderful site looking at romance novels. A couple of friends strongly hinted (okay, maybe not so much hinted as clearly wished) and the next thing I knew I was mucking around WEBS trying to decide what colors they'd like.

I ended up with three skeins of Malabrigo Rasta, yarn that I have thought is beautiful but couldn't find a pattern for prior to this that would make something really reasonable out of one skein.  One quick order later, a couple hours of knitting for each one and I had three cowls. But the friends hadn't been told about said yarn purchases, so I had to wait to show the cowls off. Now that the mail has been delivered, I can share some pictures.

The pattern is very straight forward and uses up any extra super-bulky that you've had lying around the stash in a big hurry.


For D I picked out a luscious red. She likes red.

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As you can see this can be worn just around the neck or pulled up over the head. It snugs up nicely under a coat or will make a good outer layer over a tighter fitting hat on those extra cold days we're already headed towards.

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For C, I chose a skein that was just beautiful to me.  Hopefully it will be a good accent against her winter coat(s). [Hopefully this winter she'll only need to wear one coat at a time. After last winter, Midwesterners are a little skittish.]

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And for me blues and purple. Mine is a picture just after completion, I've been wearing it and haven't had inclination to pop it back in the light box but I'll try to get a better picture soon. It's the Sheri (883) colorway if you're looking for it.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sock Show Thursday: Fresh and Minty

I've almost finished pair 11 for 2014. I've been chugging along at nearly a full pair ahead of schedule all year and yet here I am in late (gah!) November and I'm still finishing up the second sock on pair 11.  Of course, I've been doing a lot of other knitting on the go: a cowl, a scarf, etc, but still, you'd think the socks would just knit themselves at this point.

Fortunately, a couple of evenings out with friends, one to see Gail Carriger in Chicago and one to eat delicious Japanese noodles and I'm nearly done.

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Yes, Parasol Protectorate readers, I got to see Gail Carriger on the final stop of her current book tour--Book 3 of the YA series that she's currently writing. Friend C suggested it and I trudged over after work, carrying my beat up copy of Soulless.  It'd be more abused, but it's actually my second copy. I'm still not sure who has my first copy.

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Gail did an hour of Q&A, rather than a traditional reading, and it was lots of fun. It wasn't a huge group but we got to have a nice chat with her and send her off (hopefully peacefully) back to the Pacific Northwest, home to her own bed.  She's just as funny and lovely as you'd imagine from her books.

The socks, when worked on, are coming right along. They are toothpaste minty.  This is my usual pattern done in Sophie's Toes Merino Sock, that I picked up last spring at YarnCon. I'm not quite through all the yarn I bought from her, this is 2 of the 3 skeins. The third is on the needles but not any progress made recently, so nothing to show you there.

With these winding down, I need to wind more stash. Despite my not knitting socks very fast of late, I have seemed to work through all of the "this is for socks" yarn that I usually carry around with me.  Of course, mittens are calling my name with the cold temperatures, so we'll have to see.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wait time washcloths

Whenever a computer is slow at work while I'm trying to work with a student, I always joke that "they promised us computers would make our lives faster."  We've all been there, waiting for something to load that seems to be taking forever.  In my head sometimes I'll make the little whirring modem noises from my high school days and yes, I know even that was a miracle of speed and such.  Still, as I'm griping at my phone that it can't do six things at once and has really started slowing down recently, making mapping really inconvenient when I am on the fly, grrrr....

Anyway, when I'm at home and waiting on the computer to load something, I keep a washcloth on the needles. Earlier this year I set out to use up all of the rest of the bulky weight cotton that I bought a couple of years back and I know lots of people who like a handknit washcloth.

So far I've made it through one entire skein in Charcoal:

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And honestly I have no idea how many washcloths I've made.  I started giving them away already, usually in batches of three, so at least six or so have gone to a new home.  I think I have 9 or 10 more around here still, so figure 15 or so per pound of cotton?

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I'm knitting all sorts of patterns as the mood strikes. Mostly I've been knitting small log cabin washcloths, though also I tried a half linen stitch and did some moss and garter stitch. It's not going especially quickly, I started in April with the intent of busting through 3-4 pounds of cotton and I'm only just through the first pound six months later, but it's getting it used and eventually the incredibly patient mother will get her stash reloaded and a few other friends who've made washcloth noises will get some too.

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Perhaps I might even use some here at Chez Hedgehog. That'd be novel, now wouldn't it? Odd that I only have one around here for me.

And in the interim, the time waiting on the computer rebooting is being put to good use.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Little New Stash

While waiting for the Philosopher the other evening before a show at the House Theater, I moseyed down the block and into Nina. The proprieter always has such lovely things and it was a nice way to while away the time. She was helping a new knitter find some super bulky yarn to create a bulky fast scarf and I was trying to remember what obligation knitting I had for this year.

Then, of course, I got waylaid by the sale bin.

Remember the Rorschach Socks? I found more of that yarn.

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Isn't the raspberry lovely?

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Or, you know, if lime is more your style. Yes, they're really that bright. And by bright I mean neon.  I assume they'll just be socks at some point in the next year, I don't have any particular plans as yet but I'm not sure I know anyone who wants that level of bright nearer to their faces that over the toes.

I do really like the base though, which is Zitron Wolkenspiel.  I should probably check to see if they have anything in slightly less bright shades.

I also picked up a skein of Berroco Vintage. It's knit-a-dog-sweater-season and fluffy pup needs a new shrug, I'm told.

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The yarn is a little more purple than this but again, my usual trouble with the camera eye and ultraviolet.

This is the only yarn that gets to stay out, the Zitron skeins are both headed to the stash to marinate.  Perhaps I'll dig them out again in March when it's grey...






Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Swear There was Knitting Progress Here Somewhere

I know I've made knitting progress in the past couple of weeks. I've cast on and finished 4 projects, finished a sock, and cast on two other projects and yet I have very few pictures. Something is not aligned here.

Part of it is gift knitting, not even Christmas, just general gift knitting, and because of where all this blog posts, I can't post pictures until the recipient receives their mail or I have lunch with them. One project is purple/blue on black yarn and that's going to require my best lighting efforts, which in turn requires being home/lucid/and with some time. Time has been short this October. So let's see what I do have for you.

Most recently I started the cowl that I'm knitting for Loopy Academy. The requirements for the project were a:

"Cowl in a multi-colored (defined as 2 or more distinct colors in the same skein) or self-striping Fingering weight colorway" that uses at least 175 yards.

I decided on the Wandering Wildflower pattern by Lara Smoot. I chose it because it called for size 3 needles, of which I have many. Not, perhaps, my best way of choosing a pattern but after digging through many pages of cowls, it was the one that appealed most to me and it did look as though it would do nicely for a multi-colored yarn.



The yarn is Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock yarn. It's very pretty, a light blue/teal with purple and brown and some gray/green hints in there as well. I have a sneaking suspicion that the LabMouse (new coworker) might try to abscond with it when I'm not looking. She doesn't knit herself but it does look like it'd match a lot of her favorite clothes.



As you can see, I'm not very far along. The pattern is sweeping sections of short rows and then yarnover rounds. What you see is maybe 3.5 hours of knitting? It's going to be a longer project. In another 2-3 hours of knitting I have to move the stitch markers and that should just be interesting. We'll see how it goes. [What is it with me and this super intense purple these days? This is the 3rd or 4th project this year with it.] 

Oh, hey look I found another picture. I made another One Row Handspun (that's the name of the pattern, I haven't taken up spinning yet) scarf.  It was a nice quick snack food knit but scarves inevitably get a little dull around the 5' mark.  Also a little unwieldy.



Anyway, as soon as I get the ends woven in I need to block it and wrap it up. This recipient does not, I don't believe, read this blog.

More pictures when I find a few spare brain cells...

Monday, October 13, 2014

To California and Back Again: in Socks.

The Philosopher and I are just back from a California wedding. This of course required travel knitting, debating if there was time to go wool shopping, and the perennial debate about the numbers of pairs of shoes that I needed to pack for a short weekend away including a trip up to wine country. 

Shoe count ended up landing at 4 pair and yarn shopping didn't happen. We might have had enough time on Saturday to drive up to the next town from our hotel to the nearest yarn store but we opted for other activities. I've had a lot of yarn arriving at Chez Hedgehog recently, so perhaps this is no bad thing (it's mostly for Christmas knitting).  

My first project was finishing up the Cold Beach socks. I hadn't wanted to bring them, truth be told. I was bored with them. It is tiny yarn on size zero needles (2.0 mm) and the leg of sock two took forever but I had finally reached the flap for the heel and that's where travel knitting began once we'd checked in at the airport. 




I wanted to leave these socks at home and start something new, who wanted boring on a beautiful trip? But realistically, if I had let these linger I knew I would only resent them more and it was just time to put my head down and work thru them. So not only did I pack them, but they were my plane knitting for the flight out.  

We had dinner with one of the Philosopher's friends in San Francisco, having navigated the Bart and the bus system up to his place from our near-the-airport-hotel. And while we were chatting after the meal, I finished sock 2.  




Sock Details
Pair 10 2014
Rav Details: Cold Beach Socks 
68 stitches on 2.0 mm needles
Manos del Uruguay Alegría Yarn in the Atlantico Colorway

The next morning, we drove into San Francisco proper. Usually I drive but this time the Philosopher drove and I couldn't have been more grateful. I'll tackle most driving challenges but the grade on the hills was so steep that I was scared just being in the passenger seat. Both of us found the "come up to the top of a super steep hill and then stop and then go, praying that you didn't miss seeing anyone" alarming.  He drove, I knit. 


Sock Details
Pair 11 2014
Rav Details: Toothpaste Socks
60 stitches on 2.25 mm needles
Sophie's Toes Merino Sock in the Whale Watch Colorway

This is being fondly called the Toothpaste Socks.  My colors are all off--phone camera plus hotel lighting, but it looks like shades you'd find in toothpaste--minty not-real greens and blue. I'm always amazed how different needles feel when I make the change. Though only .25 mm thicker than the needles I'd used for the Cold Beach Socks, these seemed far bigger and the socks going much faster. 

After lunch, we rounded up another friend driving up to the wedding with us and went to the Golden Gate Park.  



We went to the Japanese Tea Garden, of course, for tea and a wander about. San Francisco was having a lot of fog that day so it was overcast and cool, perfect tea weather. 

After a brief stop in at an art opening (we're so posh), it was off to Windsor, CA.  Again the Philosopher drove, and I navigated. We had the obligatory In-And-Out Burgers for dinner and met up with friends at the hotel. 

Saturday morning brought sunshine and a few hours to spare before the wedding. After a very excellent brunch, we stopped in here to try some local beer:


How can you not stop at the Jaded Toad?  I had knitting suspended from my belt loops all weekend, so knitting progress, while not fast, was ongoing. 
We could have stayed all afternoon here in the sunshine of their beer garden, but we wanted to also visit Old Redwood Brewery, a local microbrewery, and stop in for a wine tasting at another local place. 

Then we were back to the hotel for a dash through showers and onto a shuttle bus for the wedding. I didn't remember to take any pictures there, but we were at a lovely winery that's a fair drive away. 
Sunday, we drove back, dropped our two friends at their different destinations and then made our way to the airport. I got stopped at security (Is there anything sharp in your bag? There are knitting needles in that green pouch. Ah, that's what he saw. Okay, have a great flight.) and then armed with my socks and the audiobook of Wizard of Earthsea, we were headed homeward.  I knit for several hours and by the time we landed I'd tucked things away because I'd reached "need to check for toe" point and it was just too squashed on the plane for that. Four hour flights are hard on the body and it was about 2 hours after landing that we finally got into our apartment. 



Today I'm home with very clingy cats and not knitting on socks at all, despite the chill outside. As I mentioned earlier though, Christmas yarn has been arriving and holiday knitting is definitely upon me.  There will be much to come soon!. 





Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sock Show Thursday: Rorschach and a Cold Beach

There has continued to be sock knitting at Chez Hedgehog! Well, okay, not so much at Chez Hedgehog, more like Commute Hedgehog, PlaceofWork Hedgehog, but at least there's progress being made.

These first socks are going to be done before the yarn hits it's one year mark: the Rorschach socks.

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I bought the yarn on my birthday last year. It's Zitron Wolkenspiel in the Himmelbett Colorway.  I don't know why the color is called Four Poster Bed, but perhaps someone at Zitron can shed some light.

What's best about these socks are the heels:

Heel 1
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Heel 2 ---[This picture has been giving me fits pulling in, please try to click through to Flickr if it is giving you strangeness as well.]
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I've been showing them to everyone and asking what they see. I've gotten some rather unusual answers, no one sees the same thing.

The other socks are yarn from last winter.  I appear to be really focused on this first in-first out for the stash, I need to get past that and go deeper into the stash.

These look like the colors of a cold day at the beach. Not the warm summer sky but the colder one that makes you wish you'd brought a cup of coffee while you watch the tides roll in and out.

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I'm almost done with sock 1 as you can see but I'm knitting on size 0 (2.0 mm) needles and that's slow going.  The heel is pretty, if you want a sense of how the yarn might knit up not in my usual 1x1 spiraling rib.

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The yarn is Manos del Uruguay Alegría, which was new late last year I believe.  It's a 3 ply in a very light fingering weight.  It's a nice yarn. Not a workhorse and I don't remember being especially enchanted with the colors they had--though I was trying to find something that didn't look like *everything* else in my stash so that was probably more of a problem with me than the yarn.  They should be warm, comfortable socks.  If I can get the second one done.

This is pair 9 and 10 for 2014. I'm definitely on track to finish 12 by the end of the year, especially if I stop only knitting on size 0 (2.0mm) needles...

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Winter is Icumen In

Sumer is Icumen In is the song I sang in Madrigals but with that fading fast into a brisk fall, I'm thinking ahead.  As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I lost my winter hat and bought some Mrs. Crosby worsted weight yarn to repair the problem.  But what would let me use every inch, still cover my ears, and not have too much going on to compete with the beautiful colors?

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I went with the Basic Ribbed Hat by Jane Irish Nelson. What I liked about this simple paid pattern is that she included both bottom up and top down directions for a beanie or a stocking cap and the yardage she required looked to be about right to meet the 164 yards that I had.

In order to use up all of the yarn, I did a top down hat. I think this might be a first for me. I'm always doing ribbing at the bottom and then decreases.  Anyway, after the first 18-20 rows, it was 2x2 ribbing. Of course, my hands default to 1x1 ribbing due to all of my sock knitting, so I had to correct a few more times than I'd like, but overall it went very quickly. I knit the entire hat in just a few hours one afternoon.

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I love how it turned out. The colors mute a little knit together and it looks like a stained glass window.

I still need to give it a quick wash and weave in the ends (the i-cord at the top will be a "button" where one might put a pompom).

I must tell you that this yarn was absolutely delicious to knit with. It's squishy and bouncy  and feels wonderful on the hands.  I've already ordered more for another project-- but that's another blog post.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Not My Usual Palette

I finished this scarf for the Philosopher a couple of weeks ago but haven't had the chance to get it in front of the camera. It still needs a full soak and the ends woven in--- oh, and dyed.

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Meet my 70s Lampshade shawlette. 

The yarn is BMFA Medium Weight Socks that Rock from the Mill Ends sale earlier this summer. I'd originally just planned to knock out a pair of socks but when the Philosopher said he really liked it, I ripped back. 

The pattern is Grashús by Larissa Brown. I did some sort of hybridization of sizes, knitting on size 5 (3.75mm) needles but  used the fingering weight size for stitch count rather than sport weight size? 

The top half of the pattern is garter + increases and the bottom is a very interesting technique called Double Garter that I'd never done before.  

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It creates a very springy but dense fabric that is really cool.  And also is incredibly easy to screw up: 

Example A: 
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Example B: 

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And that doesn't include the multiple times that I picked back a number of rows very painstakingly trying to figure out where I could get to okay again.  After the first, third, eighteenth error I probably should have started using lifelines but I didn't. Learn from my mistakes....

Here's the beginning
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The pattern is written where you start at one end, increase across until you're halfway through your wool, and then decrease.  This would have worked better (a) if I hadn't been knitting this in public a few times and (b) if I'd ever bothered to acquire a kitchen scale

The problem with the former (other than causing interesting errors as seen above) is that at some point about halfway through I forgot that I was supposed to be doing increase rows and did a fairly large "straight" section.  Once I realized this, I eyeballed the skein, knit a few more rows, called it "just past halfway" and, sending up a little prayer regarding the latter issue started decreasing.

Here's the end:

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I got further than I expected, but certainly the ends don't quite match.

Once I hit the halfway point, the Philosopher started debating what color he wanted to overwash it with.  The pink is very fuschia and the overall mix reminds us a little too much of a hotel bedspread.  I think the verdict is that we're going to try adding a blue wash. That should tone the pink and green down and harmonize it a little more.

And proof that everyone's taste is different: I was working on this at a recent social event and one of the other women there absolutely loved the color blend. So it's a good thing Tina dyes great color mixes for all of us, not just what's in my preferred palette.






72 Hours-- Ish

We have reached the period of the calendar year where I am deeply in denial of deadlines, full on avoidance, and procrastination. Th...